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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Health effects of a poor or bad posture

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.
Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing or aggravating episodes of back pain and damaging spinal structures. Back pain may be the result of poor ergonomics and posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends); pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back and extremities; pain that goes away after switching positions while sitting or standing; sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car; and/or back pain that comes and goes for months.

Health effects of bad or poor posture:                            
  • With bad posture, your rib cage starts pressing down on the major organs – giving them less space to function. 
  • Your waistline gains a few inches because of that And you lose a few inches from your height 
  • Your stomach will jut out and dieting won’t help 
  • You’ll suffer from back aches which won’t go away easily 
  • Flexibility is reduced and one shoulder tends to be higher than the other 
  • You’ll become injury prone because of poor posture. According to some science, bad posture also leads to having more negative thoughts. 
  • Worst of all, you’ll never feel fresh and rested even after you wake up from a good nights sleep
How does posture affect health? 

Deborah Saint-Phard, a physiatrist at CU Sports Medicine, says the most common complaints among the people she sees are back, neck and shoulder pain, all of which can relate to posture. "Posture is all I talk about," she says. "It's very important." Saint-Phard says good posture is crucial for optimal performance in sports. "Oftentimes, I'll walk into a room and see teenage kids slumped over, with rounded shoulders and head slumped over. They'll have shoulder pains (when they) play tennis," she says.
Saint-Phard says poor posture is exacerbated by weak back muscles that are elongated and stretched out.

Douglas Wisoff, a Boulder physical therapist says: posture also can affect breathing. "If your shoulders are rounded and chest back, the result is that the chest cavity is smaller. ... You're talking about ventilation being quite a bit less. Then you have ... lower energy levels. Because your ventilation is so compromised, you get used to those lower energy levels. It has (an effect on) clarity, ability to focus, ability to concentrate, ability to excel in sports." Wisoff says stress can be a big contributor to poor posture.

Useful links:

Health Problems Leading to Bad Posture


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